The global software market for video games was approximately $52 billion in 2012. In just the last 8 years, the emerging markets have gone from 12% to 47% of the market size and are growing at a compounded annual rate of nearly 30%. All of this growth in the international video game market offers a unique experience and cultural impact on many countries that previously would not have had exposure to these types of games. This exposure demonstrates the globalizing power video games have, and their effects on individual players.
In order to quantify this effect several specific internationally popular games will be listed and described relating their content to cultures of industrialized, Middle-Eastern, and developing countries. The United States has long been one of the preeminent leaders in the computer and portable gaming production industry. Treyarch and Activision teamed up to deliver the Call of Duty series, including the recently popular Black Ops 2, which has been an international best seller.
The game is available on many different platforms besides the PC including various counsels and even portable gaming formats. The game deals with warfare among several nations, including historical cold war missions that tie to an over arching premise linking these events to a future plotline. Through engaging war and nations in this manner a game like this could be seen to propel a certain ripple effect in perceptions of America among developing and middle-eastern countries. Many countries feel certain games have unfavorable portrayal of their nation or their religion and beliefs.
Games like these may not necessarily induce violence, yet given the extreme realistic nature and handling of certain themes, there could be a desensitizing aspect to individuals playing the game. When speaking about video games globalizing affect on cultures, one important point to observe is that many instances of unfavorable reception or regulation of a game are done so in order to retain cultural heritage and beliefs. The Sims is a game by Electronic Arts, which has been around for over a decade and has many different expansions over the years.
The reason t has been such a relevant and best selling game is because it is very customizable and gives people the chance to create their own lifelike character and family, subjecting them to many different scenarios. The game has been popular and has given many different countries an interesting look into a more Americanized living atmosphere and value system as hinted through the game play. They game is a great way to expose people to American and western customs in an interesting and fun way. However, certain countries have criticized it for the opulent centered outlook and encouragement of certain ideals deemed inappropriate in certain cultures.
In much the same way other games treatment of drugs, alcohol and sex have unearthed new concerns for cultural boundaries in video games, especially countries with strict religious policies regarding such topics. American games influence on other cultures is not all negative. With advancements in the market, games have expanded and opened up many opportunities for countries to develop their own format and localized versions of games. American games also push the limits of technology further expanding the horizon and scope of games available in burgeoning new markets.
Additionally, these new markets, including new industrialized and even increasing access in Middle-Eastern and developing nations, are expanding their technology to compete and offer consumers availability and access to such products. This proliferation in technology and broadband access also allows individuals in other countries the ability to communicate and interact with each other in online multiplayer formats. This exposure and introduction of consumers from different cultures is breaking down borders and increasing globalization.
The video game industry has had to weather criticism since its inception as to its role in violence and other social issues. However, given its increased role internationally, and the gaming industry’s ability to help drive technology, there has been a resurgence in international acceptance of American video games and technology. The role games have on individuals may be a bundled and often complex topic, but there is no denying the increasing access and technological driving force video games represent to other countries. `
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